"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Social and Stylistic Variation in Spoken French. A Comparative Approach.
Many of the assumptions of Labovian sociolinguistics are based on results drawn from US and UK English, Latin American Spanish and Canadian French. Sociolinguistic variation in the French of France has been rather little studied compared to these languages. This volume is the first examination and exploration of variation in French that studies in a unified way the levels of phonology, grammar and lexis using quantitative methods. One of its aims is to establish whether the patterns of variation that have been reported in French conform to those reported in other languages. A second important theme of this volume is the study of variation across speech styles in French, through a comparison with some of the best-known English results. The book is therefore also the first to examine current theories of social-stylistic variation by using fresh quantitative data. These data throw new light on the influence of methodology on results, on why certain linguistic variables have more stylistic value, and on how the strong normative tradition in France moulds interactions between social and stylistic variation.